(Reuters) – India reported a record daily jump of coronavirus infections on Saturday, bringing the total of cases near 3 million and piling pressure on authorities to curb huge gatherings as a major religious festival began.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, click: https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7
* For a U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, click: https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T
* Around 1,500 volunteers equipped with face masks, hand disinfectant and tracking gadgets attended an indoor concert in Germany as part of a study to simulate how the coronavirus spreads in large gatherings.
* Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged people to act on health advice after official data showed daily COVID-19 infections had risen to a record level.
* The head of Israel’s coronavirus task force has asked Zelenskiy to ban an annual pilgrimage in which Hasidic Jews visit the central Ukrainian town of Uman, over concerns the site may become a virus hotspot.
* The United States on Friday closed lanes at select ports of entry at the border with Mexico and will conduct more secondary checks to limit non-essential travel and the spread of coronavirus, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official said.
* New York City has managed to contain the virus as it reopens, but risks an increase in cases later in the year, public health experts told Reuters.
* The scale of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico is “under-represented” and “under-recognised” and testing is limited, the World Health Organization’s Dr Mike Ryan said.
* South Korea said it will roll out tougher social distancing guidelines to curb the spread of coronavirus nationwide as it battles a new outbreak spreading from the capital.
* Finding the pandemic scary? A Japanese group is trying to take people’s minds off COVID-19 – by putting them in coffins surrounded by chainsaw-wielding zombies.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Saudi public sector employees will return to on-site work on Aug. 30, state TV reported, quoting the human resources ministry, further relaxing coronavirus restrictions.
* South Africa’s confirmed COVID-19 cases have surpassed 600,000, the health ministry said on Friday, although the number of new cases has been declining since a peak in July.
* Lebanon imposed a partial lockdown for two weeks starting on Friday to counter COVID-19 infections that have doubled since the catastrophic explosion at the Beirut port.
* China has been giving experimental coronavirus vaccines to groups facing high infection risks since July, a health official told state media.
* China has approved human testing for a potential coronavirus vaccine cultivated within insect cells, local government in the southwestern city of Chengdu said.
* The U.S. Food and Drug Administration could update its emergency use authorization for Gilead Sciences Inc’s <GILD.O> drug remdesivir to include patients hospitalized with moderate COVID-19, despite mixed trial results, the company’s top research executive said on Friday.
* More than half the companies in Spain that closed at the height of the coronavirus pandemic have reopened, according to government data, suggesting the economy is recovering slowly.
(Compiled by Frances Kerry)